VIDEO REVIEWS

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The Independent Culture
Out of Sight (15)

CIC, rental HHHH

George Clooney plays Jack Foley, a debonair bank robber who spends most of his time in jail. When one of his escape plans is disrupted by a Federal Marshal (Jennifer Lopez), he is forced to hide with her in the boot of the getaway car. As she sets her sights on bringing him in and he plots his next heist, their mutual fascination grows. Director Steven Soderbergh keeps Elmore Leonard's intricate plot steaming along while deftly weaving between past and present, dream and reality. If that's not enough, the tension between Clooney and Lopez is guaranteed to moisten your popcorn.

Home Fries (12)

Warner, rental H

Drew Barrymore's attempts to resuscitate her career are put in grave danger with this risible black comedy. She plays Sally, a pregnant burger bar assistant who discovers that the father of her child is married. Things get out of hand when Catherine O'Hara's jealous wife requisitions her two sons to scare her husband to death and hunt down his mistress. Barrymore's cotton-wool cosiness would have been enough to make Home Fries a passable feel-good romance but director Dean Parisot's attempts to turn it into a thriller have ensured that no one involved emerges with any credibility.

Oscar and Lucinda (15)

Fox Pathe, retail HHH

Ralph Fiennes plays a compulsive gambler and defrocked minister with a ludicrously squeaky voice in Gillian Armstrong's film, adapted from Peter Carey's novel. He meets Lucinda (Cate Blanchett), an eccentric heiress and another compulsive gambler with whom he falls in love. As a sign of his devotion he transports a huge church across northern Australia for her. Though Fiennes's performance is technically faultless, his ceaseless twitching is exhausting to watch. Blanchett's feisty Lucinda is presented in subtler shades, though you can't help but wish she would fall for someone with a normal voice box.

Great Expectations (15)

Fox Pathe, rental HH

Alfonso Cuaron transfers the events in Dickens's novel to the present day in Florida where Gwyneth Paltrow, as the chilly Estella, gads about in impossibly short skirts while Ethan Hawke tries his hardest to seduce her. Hawke's artistic talents are seized upon by Robert De Niro, who sets him up with a New York apartment and gives him his own show. As an artist, it seems Hawke can persuade Estella to get her kit off. Electricity? Not a hint of it, though there is much hilarity to be garnered from Anne Bancroft as a brandy-swilling Miss Haversham and De Niro's tramp.

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